There’s nothing like leaving a studio with a freshly-wrapped new bit of ink, and small tattoos are a very popular choice. They're so fun and cute, usually cheaper and mean require less commitment. A killer combo. Perhaps you’re here because you have a few designs in mind for your next tat, but we’d guess it’s more likely that you’ve only settled on the size.
The best tattoo ideas cover a range of different sizes, from micro to large creations like sleeves, but smaller pieces are great for those who want something minimalist. There are also, of course, a few benefits to small tattoos that may push you to choose one over a larger design. Not only are they more discreet, if you’re after something subtle, but a smaller tat will also take less time and resources and, winner, cost less.
Before you dive knee deep into tiny tattoos inspo territory, here are a few things to remember:
- Placement: It's important to remember that small tattoos (dependent on placement can fade quickly) so consider placement thoroughly.
- Maintenance: Just because tattoos are small, doesn't mean they don't require any after care. Tattoo artist Abigail Rawlings of Abigail Louise Tattoos says: “If you don’t follow the aftercare guidance, your tattoo could end up looking patchy and faded, and more importantly, lead to an infection which requires antibiotics.” So make sure you follow after-care tips closely even on the most small and intricate designs, to ensure your ink remains in tip-top condition. These include but are not exclusive to: not submerging in water for at least two-to-three weeks (or longer) until healed, no picking, limiting sun exposure, and not applying skincare irritants like vaseline.
- Price point: As with any tattoo, consider price point which can range depending on the actual size, intricacy and placement of the tattoo. Make sure you get a bench mark before your booking so you don't end up disappointed.
Now you're more prepared, whether you’re leaning towards zodiac tattoo ideas or would prefer a design that’s rooted in nature, your options are almost endless. Below we’ve rounded up a range of tattoo designs from Instagram, from favourite love hearts and crescent moons to more unique options like dinosaurs and even french fries, to help you make a decision. Once you’ve settled on one all that’s left to do is book your appointment and stock up on Bepanthen…
The best small tattoo ideas to inspire your next piece:
A fine line loveheart is a classic small tattoo design. Not only that, but they’re a great idea for matching tattoos for you and your bestie, sibling, parent or partner.
A small infinity symbol makes a great tattoo, and works well just about anywhere – although we do love this forearm placement.
Celestial themed tattoos are very popular, and a star outline is a really simple and effective design.
We're obsessed with the placement of this small butterfly outline tattoo.
Any wording you like works well with cursive font tattoos, be it a single meaningful word or a longer phrase. This is a popular choice among celebrity tattoos.
There are tons of options for leaf or plant tattoos, and this one is super cute.
Zodiac constellations are a great personal tattoo idea and a super popular choice.
Much like leaf tattoos, there are almost endless options for simple flower tattoos, too.
Another extremely popular choice is a crescent moon tattoo. Whichever tattoo design you go for, remember to wise up on your tattoo aftercare.
There are lots of meaningful tattoo ideas out there, including the co-ordinates of a place that holds special significant for you.
This cheerful and simple tattoo design is sure to put a spring in your step. Super pretty!
Symbols are a popular source of tattoo inspiration, and we love these matching sister inkings.
Fruit tattoos are fun, no question – plus, how cute is this little peach?
There are small tattoos, and then there are tiny tattoos, like this teeny sparkle, which are even more dainty.
A sea shell makes a great tattoo choice for ocean lovers.
Cursive tattoos are lovely, but you can’t deny the appeal of even simpler tiny block capitals.
Another celestial tattoo idea, we love this teeny tiny planet.
Nature-themed tattoos will never fall out of favour, and how adorable is this bumble bee?
Fine line botanicals make seriously pretty tattoo designs, just like these sprigs of lavender.
An anchor can be a meaningful tattoo design, as well as making a great small tattoo.
Lightning bolt tattoos don’t require a partner for a matching design, but you can’t deny the appeal!
Super simple and chic, tiny dots make a very elegant minimalist tattoo design.
These simple fine line lotuses are seriously delicate and pretty.
Another very popular design, mountain tattoos can range from simple outlines to intricate designs with shading.
While some prefer to have a full word or phrase as their meaningful tattoo, for others a single letter can do all the talking.
A palm tree makes a seriously cute tattoo, particularly a small design.
Another tattoo design that calls to the ocean, this wave tattoo is perfect for water babies.
Another fruity tattoo, this lemon wedge kind of makes your mouth water as well as looking great.
Swans are elegant and beautiful creatures, as is this small continuous line tattoo idea.
A perfect tattoo for Scorpios, though not a must, we love this scorpion outline design.
What’s cuter than a french fries tattoo? A tiny french fries tattoo, that’s what.
This hummingbird design is seriously beautiful.
A popular tattoo design, semi colon tattoos can be filled in out simply outlined, as shown here.
Angel wings are common tattoos, but this teeny-tiny single wing is extra delicate.
Dragonflies symbolise change and transformation, making them a lovely meaningful tattoo idea.
How cute is this little dinosaur tattoo? Answer: it’s going straight on our Pinterest boards.
Quite literally a fun and fiery design, this tattoo is also a great option for red ink.
This small tattoo can give you the perfect hit of nostalgia. Had the trip of your life or missing home? This postage stamp design can be meaningful and cute all in one.
A more unique but no less cool tattoo idea, this cowboy hat design is seriously sweet.
Name something more adorable? We'll wait. These dainty animated cherries sketched on to the shoulder symbolise love and are drop dead cute.
This finger flame tattoo is edgy, cool, and require minimal commitment as it's big enough to be seen, but placed somewhere more discreet.